Posts Tagged ‘weather’

The Beast from the East

Saturday, March 10th, 2018 | Life

When the Finnish military does operations, the enemy always comes from the east. Nobody is saying that a specific country is that enemy, it just happens to come from that direction. Just like now, when nobody is saying that the horrible weather is a punishment by god for the way Russia treats gay people. Even though we all know it is.

It’s been pretty heavy. Although I’m not sure I agree that it’s been heavier than anyone can remember. Take a look at the snow in 2013, 2009 and 2008, for example.

And, as usual, the country grinds to a halt because that’s more cost-effective than paying for all of the things we would need to carry on.

Does the snow really stop us?

Whether we really need such as grind is questionable, though. Schools across Yorkshire closed. Venla’s daycare closed. Many offices, including Univar and Sky closed.

But why?

University remained open. I went to all of my lectures and lab sessions. The Edge remained open, too, and all of my exercises classes were still on. I even went swimming thinking I would have a quiet pool and found it just as busy as normal. It feels like an odd parallel world where half the people are panicking and the other half are just getting on with life with absolutely no disruption.

How about travelling

Travelling is one area where the snow can get in the way. But it doesn’t always have to stop you.

I had booked a night away for Elina and me to celebrate her birthday. A lovely country hotel in the Yorkshire Moors. Of course, then this happened.

It should have been an hour and a half’s drive. We set off up the A1, got all the way to the A170, up Sutton Bank and then, just 14 miles from our destination, found the police had closed the road. So, we had to come back down the A19, across to the A64, up the A169 and over the A170 in the other direction.

This turned the entire journey into three and a half hours of driving.

A massive pain in the ass. But we made it, in a little two-wheel drive Astra with regular tyres on.

A dip in the pool

And if there was any remaining doubt that normal activities can be accomplished during snow, here is Elina and me taking a swim in the outdoor pool.

To be fair, it was a heated pool. The heating wasn’t working properly, so it was colder than it should have been, but still not the frozen block it would have been without the heating.

Does weather affect your mood?

Friday, July 29th, 2016 | Science

Recently an internal poll at Sky asked employees whether the weather affected your mood. Responders overwhelming said that it did.


However, this is people self-reporting in a poll. When you get into the science, the picture is far less clear.

The Huffington Post reported on all kinds of maladies that studies suggest are caused by weather. The list includes changes in empathy, violent crime and mental health problems.

In contrast, a 1998 study by David Shkade and Daniel Kahneman suggested that people’s hapiness was unaffected by weather. Their conclusion was clear: better climate does not make you happier. They conclude…

It is not unlikely that some people might actually move to California in the mistaken belief that this would make them happier. Our research suggests a moral, and a warning: Nothing that you focus on will make as much difference as you think.

The same BBC article also quotes a 2008 study by Jaap Denissen that concludes…

The idea that pleasant weather increases people’s positive mood in general is not supported by the findings of this study.

These findings cannot be generalised to everyone. Some people suffer from seasonal affective disorder. It comes with the acronym SAD, just like social anxiety disorder does, suggesting that mental health professionals would benefit from improved coordination.

Seasonal affective disorder is a genuine and widely-accepted condition and is one that should not be taken likely: it is a serious mental illness. However, it only accounts for a small amount of the population. A study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry puts the prevalence at 2.4% of the population.

So are the rest of us just imagining it?

Well, maybe. But a study by Klimstra et al. fought back. They suggested that some personalty types may be affected by weather while others may not be.

Their figures suggest that around half of people are unaffected by weather, while others are affected by summer, and by rain. They conclude…

Overall, the large individual differences in how people’s moods were affected by weather reconciles the discrepancy between the generally held beliefs that weather has a substantive effect on mood and findings from previous research indicating that effects of weather on mood are limited or absent.

So does weather affect your mood? Probably less than you think. But, as ever, more research is needed.

Tropical paradise

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016 | Travel

Given that I am from The North and Elina is from Finland, we are not hot weather people. Twenty degrees is fine. Twenty-five is roasting. This is the reason that when are looking for holiday destinations, we usually head north.

But it doesn’t work. Everywhere we got turns into a tropical paradise.

This is a photo I took on the Summer Isles…


They’re a small series of islands in Wester Ross, Scottish Highlands. On the west coast. The place where it rains every day. This was in September. It was exhausting climbing to the top of the hill because it was so warm.

Then here is us in Finland. The country where it regularly goes to minus twenty degrees celsius in the winter…


This is just after we had been swimming in the sea. The baltic sea. The one that spends half the year frozen. The day after we went swimming in a few lakes and that was even warmer. We went lake-swimming on our last trip too.

Finally, here is us in Iceland…


Iceland. The country of ice. The clue is in the name! On the right, we’re at the pool in our hotel. It was too warm to sit in for long, so we sat on the decking, that even in the shade was warm enough to sit outside. On the left, the blue lagoon, from which I came home from sunburnt.


Every time we pick a colder and colder country to visit, and every time it ends up being super warm. How does this keep happening?

Spring is in the air

Monday, April 4th, 2016 | Life


The temperature is getting warmer, the days are getting lighter and flowers are sprining up everywhere. Mostly importantly though, to mark the changing of the season I am putting away my wooly hat and bringing my cap out of the wardrobe. It’s time to enjoy some warmer rain.


Friday, January 15th, 2016 | Friends


Earlier this month we visited Chris & Cara in Warrington. The darkness, rain and fog literally put a dampener on the journey. Between the weather and the traffic it took us two hours to get there. More and more it seems difficult to get anywhere without allowing for significant margins due to the traffic. Coming home was much improved though, making the journey in less than an hour and a half.

One of the advantages of Warrington is that even with the apartment blocks right in the centre you can find parking. They also have a Toby Carvery, so what more could you want in a town? Dinner was excellent, as was the company. Well worth the trip.


Sunday, November 30th, 2014 | Photos


I am pretty sure this is how horror movies start…


Saturday, July 21st, 2012 | Life, Photos

All the heavy rain last month caused the River Aire to just about reach its banks.


Friday, December 5th, 2008 | Life

I went for dinner with my parents on Wednesday. It was going to me with my grandparents as well but you know old people and snow. I mean it’s not like my dad was already at my grans so it wouldn’t have really been much of an effort of that my parents have a Nissan X-Trail designed for rough terrain in any weather 😉 .

But then that just means more chicken for me really so who’s complaining?

Summer sun

Sunday, May 11th, 2008 | Life, Thoughts

I love the UK.

It’s the only country in the world that can spend almost the entire year moaning about how bad the weather is then as soon as we finally get some sun people are like “awww, it’s too hot.”

To be fair though, it really is too hot to sleep. And I have an exam tomorrow! I need sort of air conditioned server room next year I think.